TeleHealth Brief History

Telehealth has a long history.  As early as Roman times, the elderly and sick would send messengers to convey their medical conditions to physicians who would prescribe treatment and even send the messenger back with medication to give to the patient.  The first recorded electronic incident of telehealth was by Alexander

Graham Bell who called for his assistant by telephone to help him with some acid he had spilled on himself.  When NASA first set their sights on space travel, it was determined that astronauts would likely need medical care while so far from earth, therefore, space shuttles have always been built with integrated telehealth equipment.

Today, telehealth is instrumental in helping physicians reach patients in remote, hard to reach areas.  Telepsychiatry has become mainstream in the United States, as clinicians have found safe and confidential methods for reaching more patients in need of care. Even types of care that typically need a more hands on approach — like teledentistry and telesurgery — are providing previously unavailable consultations through video conferencing and robotic devices!  Modern technology has made it easier for providers to meet with patients remotely, while treatment and even medication can be delivered by mail.